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Perspective | Action Map spotlights initiatives advancing accessible and high-quality education system

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) team just released the third edition of the Pathways Action Map. The map provides a snapshot of initiatives across the state working in four “Expectation Areas,” whose work connects and advances a shared vision where all North Carolina children, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade.

Expectation 4 (social-emotional health) and Expectation 1 (family-driven and equitable systems) were released earlier this year, while the latest release (Expectation 3) features initiatives engaged in the educational space.

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundations expectation areas.

A deeper dive into education systems

Below are the Expectation 3 action areas, which were prioritized by stakeholders across North Carolina in the Pathways Action Framework, the basis for the Action Map.

  • Increase access to infant and toddler care.
  • Provide wrap-around services for high-quality early care and education.
  • Expand child care subsidies for children.
  • Raise child care subsidy rates.
  • Provide higher subsidy rates to providers in underserved communities.
  • Recruit and retain educators and school leaders of color.
  • Adopt research-based standards for culturally-relevant teaching.
  • Provide professional development for teachers on cultural competency/working with families.
  • Ensure curricula and materials are culturally relevant.
  • Ensure education accountability systems are culturally relevant.
  • Adapt K-3 school funding system to increase equity.
  • Increase standards and compensation of birth-through-age-5 educators.
  • Support incentives to ensure high-quality educators in high-need schools and ECE programs.
  • Adjust hiring practices to ensure high-quality educators.
  • Create collaborative birth-through-third-grade professional development.
  • Provide research-informed professional development.
  • Eliminate or minimize suspension and expulsion.
  • Prepare teachers to build specific student skills needed for success.
  • Require educator and administrator professional development for building positive school climates.
  • Hire sufficient support staff.
  • Invest in school health and mental health staff and clinics.
  • Support schools and child care programs to engage deeply with families.

    Spotlighting Initiatives Leading Work in Education

    Explore the latest edition of the Action Map to view some initiatives actively working to impact one or more of these actions in their communities and across the state. We currently have 35 initiatives mapped for Expectation 3 that bridge efforts supporting children across the early childhood spectrum from birth to age 8. Examples of featured initiatives include:

    • Imagining Equity
    • Healthy Social Behaviors in Child Care Centers Project
    • NCSU Educational Leadership Academy
    • NC Early Learning Network Project
    • Child Care WAGE$
    • Getting Them Ready
    • Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$
    • NC Early Education Coalition
    • we are

    The map enables you to learn what counties these initiatives are working in, how they’re centering racial equity and community voices, how they are making an impact, and more. It also provides a primary contact if you’d like more information or simply wish to get connected.

    Join us in adding to the map

    Visit our info page to learn more about the Action Map and consider adding your work. Share it with others in your network and community whose work you think should be spotlighted. We want to utilize the map as a resource to build awareness of innovation, make connections, and identify gaps and opportunities that can help guide policymaking, advocacy, funding, and capacity-building.

    If you have any questions, or would like a guided tour of the map, please contact us at NCECF. We’d love to hear your ideas on how to continue to utilize this tool to support the success of every North Carolina child.

    Fowota Mortoo

    Fowota Mortoo serves as the data and policy associate with the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. In this role, she primarily supports the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative by developing and promoting the use of its data dashboard and Action Map.

    Mortoo is passionate about uplifting efforts that benefit young children and families across North Carolina and believes that a holistic understanding of wellbeing and multi-pronged approach are fundamental to this work.

    Mortoo graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with her bachelor’s in global studies and is originally from New York but has lived in North Carolina for the past decade. Prior to serving in this role, she was a literacy tutor with the NC Education Corps and a Buckley Public Service Scholar.